Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?

We’ve all heard that saying “Everything in moderation”. It’s not necessary to completely give up our favourite (usually unhealthy) food, occasional slip ups never hurt anyone.

Well, this has never worked for me. No way I can moderate through my favourite cake – NO WAY! And when it was over and the whole freaking tray was empty, I got upset and angry at myself. AFTERWARDS that moderation tip made sense again.

It seems like Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has the answers. She believes that there are two types of people – one that operates better with moderation and one that works better if they just avoid the darn thing (Hello!). For me, it is definitely easier to just look away. I’m not going to eat it. Period. Let’s go do something else.

Being moderate has aaalwaaaays been too painful and stressful. I was stressed out hours in advance, trying to figure out how will I eat only 3 cookies. Trying to visualize how easy and effortless will it be. And that those three cookies will be awesome, but that will be enough, and I won’t need any more. Pff, what an illusion. Of course, I ate everything in the end. So now I just cross them off my menu and let them sit in the cupboard. Surprisingly, that bothers me a lot less!

Since I’ve been using this tactic, I have heard my fair share of comments that extremes are never healthy and that just a little taste of that delicious treat won’t hurt. Many just don’t want to understand that for me, it’s sooo much harder to be moderate. And it goes the other way too. Think of people, who are trying to ditch their sugar cravings. My suggestion would be – “Hey, just stop eating sweets. You’ll be cranky the first few days, but then you’ll be fine. What’s the big deal?”

We are not all the same, so we cannot follow the same rules. Figure out for yourself, which team are you in and do what’s best for you.

So, if you’re an abstainer, it is very difficult not to finish what you’ve started – you’ll put a lot more on your plate than just that tiny little piece, while deciding to skip the treat entirely will be a lot easier.

The moderators work better with the 80/20 rule and get extremely unhappy and nervous if you tell them a complete and definite NO.

What to do now?

Figuring out who we are, puts a lot of weight off our shoulders. We can stop making ourselves crazy, by trying to figure out why we can’t do the moderate thing as easily as perhaps our best (thin) friend. Accepting ourselves for who we are and acting accordingly is the best thing we can do for ourselves.

So, which one are you?

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